Welcome to our roundup of the news that's grabbed our attention from across our specialist industries over the last month!
EV-bus policy means China dominates global electric bus market.
Cities in North America, Europe and South America are adding electric buses to their fleets: New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has ten electric buses in service with another fifteen on order, plus another 1,700 hybrid buses, out of a fleet of 5,700.
Meanwhile, BloombergNEF reports that 18% of China’s total bus fleet is electric, with around 421,000 battery-electric buses in service in the country – the majority of the world’s total fleet at the end of 2018.
It is thought that China will have more than 600,000 municipal e-buses in service by 2025, compared to around 5,000 in the US. This is due to the Chinese government’s approach to accelerating electrification, which includes EV mandates and manufacturing subsidies. In the US, California will require all new buses to be zero-emission by 2029, while the EU will phase in zero-emission requirements in 2025.
The students helping to create an F1 car.
Three student winners of the Infiniti Engineering Academy talent search have begun helping to design and build this year’s Renault R.S.19. car. Their work placement at the Renault F1 Team is the result of a global talent search for the brightest young minds in engineering, with the prize being a year’s paid work placement at Infiniti and Renault F1, providing a foundation for future careers.
Manufacturing & Technology
Turning push into pull: 'unprecedented in nature' metamaterial reverses impact force.
Researchers at the University of Washington have built an origami-inspired “metamaterial” that uses folding creases to soften impact forces, harnessing unique mechanical properties unprecedented in nature. The design of the cells in the material creates a counterintuitive wave motion that turns compression pushing forces into pulling forces. The design could be used to reduce impact in a range of applications across a number of different sectors, including shock absorbing legs to protect spacecraft, as passenger protection in vehicles, or as protective headgear.
Executives & Leaders
Virtual reality: how women are taking a leading role in the sector.
The world of VR seems to be running against established (and well-documented) gender leadership trends, with women taking up leadership roles in greater numbers than in other parts of the technology industry. Across the UK, women make up less than 20% of the tech workforce, with between 5% and 15% of senior roles being held by women – even lower for BAME professionals. But a recent survey of 70 US VR companies suggests that women take up a much higher proportion of leadership roles, around 64%.
The job scams fleecing new graduates.
Online job scammers are targeting newly qualified and young workers with fraudulent job adverts and offers of employment, with victims being convinced to pay for checks and clearances costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, for non-existent roles.
The practice has been brought to the attention of the wider public by SAFERjobs and CV-Library, who suggest that almost half of those targeted have been duped into handing over money, and only 17% being aware of the risk. Jobseekers, many of whom may feel desperate to land themselves a dream role, are being urged to exercise caution and be aware of the existence of “job fraud”.
Anyone with concerns about what a fake job advert looks like should visit the SAFERJobs website to learn more, but warning signs could include: personal email addresses in the call to action; regular spelling and grammatical errors, signifying the advert may have been translated; to-good-to-be-true salaries; “no experience necessary” as a job title; high DBS (disclosure and barring service) costs (anything over £75 is a red flag); requests that a candidate pay for a CRB check, which no longer exists; Premium rate phone numbers for interviews; illegitimate company names and web addresses, and job offers without an interview.